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The Case of the Lame Canary (1937)

by Erle Stanley Gardner

Series: Perry Mason Novels (Book 11)

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274995,462 (3.66)11
Do birds of a feather plot murder together? The extraordinary Perry Mason never handles straightforward divorce cases, but this one is an especially strange bird. Rita Swaine is dating her sister's ex-boyfriend. Her sister, Rosalind, is married to shady insurance adjuster Walter Prescott, who's got dollar signs in his eyes and ice water in his veins. When Rita's beau gallantly steps in to warn Rosalind about her heinous husband's designs, Prescott hatches a plan to prey on them all...by suing for big profit. For Mason, this case should be a lark. But when a murdered man is found in the Prescott home--and a nosy neighbor sings an incriminating song about illicit love and a hidden gun--legal eagle Mason suddenly finds himself defending a sitting duck.… (more)
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English (7)  Spanish (2)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The case in this book is a typical whodunnit, with a few good twists. The interplay between Perry Mason and Della Street is much more fun in this book than the mystery. ( )
  duchessjlh | May 11, 2021 |
In this episode, it is made clear that Mason and his secretary, Della Street, are sleeping together. Since they're both single, it's cool. I'm just impressed they would admit that in a book published in 1937.

Oh, and Perry solves a murder, etc etc. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Oct 3, 2020 |
A young woman comes into Mason's office carrying a canary in a cage. Rita explains that her sister, Rosalind, is in the middle of a messy divorce and she's trying to help her. Rita was at her sister's house, trimming the canary's nails, when her boyfriend Jimmy came by to see her. While they were embracing, there was a car accident out front of the house and Jimmy ran out to help. The police officers took his name and address, and now Rita is worried Rosalind's husband will try to make out like Jimmy was there to see Rosalind and not her. Then the husband, Walter, turns up dead. That's when things got *really* complicated. ( )
  bekkil1977 | Feb 9, 2018 |
Perry Mason is not really interested in taking a new case - until he sees a canary that seems to have a lame foot. And just because of that he decides to get involved in yet another weird case - not even a murder this time. A car crash in front of a house seems unrelated to the people in the house - although the lady that comes with the canary, Rita Swaine, is. Her sister had married a man she does not love and the sister is worried.

Of course this being a Mason novel, the bodies start dropping pretty fast and both the client and the lawyer get in trouble. You know that the problem will be solved at the end but that does not take anything from the suspense. Add to that some mislabeled luggage and a marriage proposal (Mason to Della) and the story is ready to wrap.

Another nice entry in the series. ( )
  AnnieMod | Sep 17, 2016 |
Typical Perry Mason. Lots of mistaken identity stuff. KInd of fun but nothing to write home about. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Any student of character will concede that outstanding examples of class run contrary to type.
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Do birds of a feather plot murder together? The extraordinary Perry Mason never handles straightforward divorce cases, but this one is an especially strange bird. Rita Swaine is dating her sister's ex-boyfriend. Her sister, Rosalind, is married to shady insurance adjuster Walter Prescott, who's got dollar signs in his eyes and ice water in his veins. When Rita's beau gallantly steps in to warn Rosalind about her heinous husband's designs, Prescott hatches a plan to prey on them all...by suing for big profit. For Mason, this case should be a lark. But when a murdered man is found in the Prescott home--and a nosy neighbor sings an incriminating song about illicit love and a hidden gun--legal eagle Mason suddenly finds himself defending a sitting duck.

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Rita Swaine is involved with her sister's old boyfriend The sister, in the meantime, has married a shady insurance salesman with big plans to take them all for a ride. What starts as a complicated divorce case ends up in murder.
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